New Year's Eve

It was Sukiyaki that we had chosen for the dinner last night. The beef was the gift from my brother in law, a vet doctor. Coming home after busy days at the university, our daughter perked up the table.
At present, I could hear her and my wife playing their own instruments in the living room, violin and flute, respectively. Not in ensemble but tunig at the same time! Our daughter wanted me to give her 442Hz for la. It's been a long time since she took her violin out of the case. 
We have had unpleasant or unhappy events this year. But I think we should thank the higher being for the fact we could spend the New Year's eve in this way.


A story of an old hand key

This morning, when I was working with a stateside with a hand key on 15m, I found the contacts of the key had got worse. It might have been getting even more dirty. Listening the other sending slowly with the same kind of key, I was cleaning it with a piece of paper. Putting it in the gap of the contacts, I tried to rub the contacts with it.

It made me upset when I found the key went silent in my turn of transmission. All in a fluster, I started with the bug. Things went on well. Since the connection cable line was intact, I thought the ball bearings in the key supporting the moving arm were in trouble and made it silent keyed now. I used to try to repair that ball bearings by myself, having lost a few balls in the bearings. Trying to key down the hand key in vain several times, I have remembered all the years being with it. For 51 years.

I was a real new comer when I purchased it in Akihabara in 1963. It was pretty costly for me. Possibly, around 18USD or so. It was like a jewel for me. Soon, it was replaced to an electronic keyer for the main keyer but still occupied the honoralbe place on the desk. In several years, I quit operating radio in order to prepare for the entrance exam for med school. I have discarded all the equipments I had those days. Maybe, I have given something to the others. Nothing left except for this key. It had been used as a weight on my desk for about 10 years until I came back on the air in 1980. It has occupied a place on the operating desk as the only hand key since then. I have got another fancy one from JA CQ Publishing Co. as the prize for the Ace of Aces in late '80s, that was given to the most craziest DX chaser once a year those days. Anyway, this hand key has been the only thing which reminded me of my old days.

I have given it up to revive this key in a minute or so. It was the time for me to quit using this old one and to place it for a weight again. A bit sad but I felt the key had taught me how suddenly the end of life would come on us.
In a few minute, I have checked it to be sure it was literally gone silent key. I cleaned the contacts thoroughly again. My gosh, it has revived. I could pound it like before. It won't go off duty as a key. It seems it has been getting so dirty that cleaning it once had rather worsened the contacts. It might tell me it would go on for another decade or two until the operator would silent key. 


John K1JD

John K1JD has long been a good friend of mine. Especially since his retirement brough him to New Mexico, we have often talked on our loving mode.

It made me surprised the following data given in the face book which turned out to be quite identical to my history:

Born in 1949

Started ham radio in 1963

Semiretired in 2012

There must be many more things we share. As we knew each other through this hobby, this coincidence might have happened. There could be more hams in our generation with the same kind of histories. Ham radio was one of the most attractive and brilliant hobbise for our generation those days.

They would hold an FOC gathering in Santa Fe in April next year. I wonder if I could shake hands with him.

Energy crisis

A book on the energy in the world has taught me some important things.

As laready well announced, the energy resources including water are going to be run out very soon. The latest prospects say as follows as for the question how long we could use natural gas and petrolium including the unconventinal types like the shale gas/oil.  IEA "World Energy Outlook 2009" estimates it 100 years for natural gas while World Energy Council "Survey on Energy Resources 2010" gives 50 years for perolium. Uranium is not an exception which is going to be deficient sooner or later. If the developing countries like Inida or China go on using increasing amount of these rsources, the deficits will come much sooner.

The energy is comprised of not only the electricity, which is coming from the 1st resources of energy, but also of the heat energy. The former is only 46 % of total energy in the energy flow in Japan. We should consider how to lessen the total energy consumption. The utilized energy is approximately 30% of the supplied total energy. The rest is wasted as heat.

We should reduce the total energy requirement as well as the loss occurring in the process of utilization.

We should reform our life style of massive production and massive consumption. The exponential increase of energy consumption is not sustainable. The housing, choice of the transportation vehicles, usage of solar heat or pursuing more efficient energy consuming items etc would decrease the total energy consumption. The energy loss should be decreased with such as cogeneration system or exchage from electricity to the other modes of energy. The latter could be carried out in a small society where the heat associated with electricity generation could be harnessed.

Anyway, I believe we should be aware of the energy crisis going on and should turn to the society sustainable from the standpoint of energy consumption. Or the next generation would suffer from this crisis or so would we.


Best Season's Greetings

I always thank you for visiting this blog. Your kind comment is always appreciated. I am afraid I might have almost run out the topics to write about here. But I would still carry on with it. Wishing you all the best for this season.

Tokyo Hypower seems bankrupted

A source of information says Tokyo Hypower was bankrupted on Dec 24th.

This company has been producing a variety of amplifier for amateur ham radio for years. It is too bad that such a company won't be able to carry on its business. It may reflect the shrinked market of ham radio.


The struggle of the former governor of Fukushima Prefecture

It was decided by the supreme court that the former governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Eisaku Satoh, had been guilty for the acceptance of a bribe for the service as the governor. The sentence has admitted the bribe between him and a private company. But, oddly enough, they have sentenced no penalty for the bribe. Even though he once admitted his "crime" to the prosecutor when he was told in the investigation that his relative had tried to commit suicide due to the event, he has been asserting of his innocence in this case since the first trial. He says he would go on struggling against this judgement.

He had argued against the government and the electrical power company regarding the transparency and the participation by the people in the decision naking of the policy for the nuclear power plant. It was several years before the accident of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima happened. He has organized a committee investigating on the energy policy at the prefectural government, which has later published a interim report on the theme. It has taken the idea for the nuclear power plant commonly claimed after the accident in advance. He has not accepted the problematic MOX fuel to the nuclear power plants there. He was a really excellent politician as well as an administrator there. Therefore, no wonder, the government had hostility toward him.

The government could be involved in his accusation by the special investigation department of the public prosecutors office. This department has caused several serious cases of false accusation for the past decade. In some cases, there have been evidences that they made frame-ups. It is another horrible case if they did the same thing accepting the evil intention of the authority to have him fall in the frame-up. There don't seem to be any conclusive evidence to prove his innocence and the involvement of the government to this case. But the sentence and the situation how he was accused seem to tell us it was a real frame-up case by those who get enormous benefit from the nuclear power industry.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister Abe used to answer to an inquiry at the diet that the total loss of electricity could never happen a few years prior to the accident. It has been historically denied. And he still intends to start the nuclear power plants all over our country and even to increase the number of the plants.

Who is the right politician?


Citron bath

Around the witer solstice, we have a habit to take a bath with citron soaked in it. Citron is told to be effective for warming or for skin protection against dryness. This habit seems to have been kept since Edo era. We, japanese, like bathing. Citron is ripe in this season. With the knowledge of beneficial effect of this fruit for an adjunct to bathing, people might have kept this habit last so long among people in this season.

Our daughter, who is on the training for care for patients at home, has given a few citrons by the patien's family. She has brought them back home last night and has brought one of them into the bath when I took it. the fragrance of citron has spread all around. Needless to say that I have become more warmed than usual.




It is difficult for me to make tempura crisp and light. The temperature of the oil, the time the materials are dipped in it or the preparatory procedures is involved in the result. Though I believe I still need training for this dish, my wife has given me a passing mark haha.
Shrimpf and vegetables.


Tell me your story

This evening, I was on 40 m. The band was intermittently bothered by the OTH radar. In between when the band is quiet, I could hear some signals from Europe as well as North America. One of the callers to me was Steve KF7YRL. Not loud but readable. He seemed to go with a hand key. Actually, he wanted me to slow down. He has introduced himself as an ER doctor. His QRZ.com page was informative and interesting to me. He is not a DX chaser nor a contester. He seems to enjoy ragchewing on CW. He loves outdoor activities as well.

I was sorry we could not go on ragchewing enough. We might have shared the same kind of interests. Looking forward next QSO with him, I have given him my best wishes for the season.

In his bio. of QRZ.com, he says as follows. That's what I always want in a QSO. Yes, I would say the same motto:tell me your story. It will fill my heart with pleasure.



You may think you're boring, but I don't. I want to hear about your family, your career, your military service, your ham-life, your other hobbies, what it's like where you live, or crazy stuff you've lived through. Give me something that helps me remember you. 



Since I spend the daytime alone at home on the plain week days, I am apt to take simple junk foods for lunch. Thinking it was not good for health, I often cook a kind of noodle named Ramen in Japan. It is an instant food that has been sold for decedes. Recently, the technology has improved the quality of  noodle so much that it tastes like fine raw noodle.
The problem for aged people to take it as meal is that it has high calory as well as high sodium content. It may worsen the trait of high blood pressure or the arteriosclerosis, maybe. I have made a couple of principles to take it as "a safer food" for myself.
1)Do not take the soup, which contains much salt. This may eliminate 60% of sodium intake.
2)Put as much vegetables as possible. Almost the same amount as the noodle in volume. It may give me satisfaction that lasts longer than noodle alone. 
This lunch Ramen has fresh spinach from our garden. With the colder weather, it tastes sweeter. Cabbage tastes mildly sweet in the salty soup seasoned with pork. Some carrot makes it look better. The ham was again a gift from the violinist.
It was good like Ramen at good restaurant. But it might not be advisible for aged people to take it for lunch every day. I still recommend you to try it with the principles.


The expense account will be more tax free!

A half of the expense account would be tax free in the next national budget as the government has determined. It is told as a plan to stimulate business. Heck! The cost for parties of company held as reception is a stimulating measure?! Whom will they give reception? How could it stimulate business?

The economical recession, apparently deflation, is due to the decrease of the working generation in number as well as the depositing money by aged people worring about their future. The income of the working generation has been constantly decreased while the reserve of major companies is increasing up to more than 200 trillion Yen, that is, 2 trillion USD, since the beginning of this century. With increased tax, they should have done with those problems.

All the government does to stimulate business is to conduct the record quantitative easing. It could be of help to relieve credit failure. Only as a temporary measure. The quantitative easing has been carried out without any effect on the apparent deflation. It won't yield any value in the economy.

As the last measure, they are stimulating business with reception expense. What silly politicians! 


The pottery pot dish is very popular in Japan in this season. Warm and tasty. It is ready for dinner. 
Before starting it, I would toast myself with a can of dark beer. The ham is a gift from a violinist friend. I have been enjoying ensemble with her for over ten years since her student days. I have not been able to spend time for that ensemble for months this year. This girl kindly told me to enjoy ensemble together again with her and a pianist. Needless to say that I have started practising the d minor piano trio by Mendelssohn which we had practised until Jan. this year. What a sweet girl! Cheers to our piano trio!!


In a hurry, where do they go?

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pillay has expressed concern about the state secret protection bill our diet is going to enact. She says the law should meet the international standard of the human right.


The Ambassador of Sweden, Lars Vargo, has told in his blog on Dec 2nd how important free speech and the freedom of the press are. Though he has not indicated directly of the bill above mentioned, it is most likely he has meant of that bill.


Regrettably, in a couple of days, the government would have the bill voted at the upper diet, where it is supposed to be approved. It has not been discussed enough at the diets yet. The government is rushing to get it enacted by some reason. This law will change the framework of our country. It is not rational to conclude about such a subject of much dispute in too much of a hurry.


To my pal, John, 9V1VV

In the FOC mailing list, when John 9V1VV has told how much he look forward ordinary ragchews, he has added the following sentences. It has made me smile. I should, however, definitely tell that we are not falling out yet. It is the condition and the difference of our operating hours that made us apart a bit for some time. I still love as well as respect all the masterpieces of J.S. Bach. Actually, I have got a book regarding his works at a book store today. I have been practising his great unaccompanied suits for the past months. I must confess, however, that I haven't listened so much to both Couperins yet even though John has taken them as real geniuses and has recommended me to lsiten to.

My regular ragchew pal is JA1NUT. Shin and I can chat for ages. But recently we have fallen out because our tastes in music differ radically. He is a huge Brahms fan, whereas any music written after Bach is anathema to me. Hence my email address. (There are two famous Couperin's, and I prefer the Uncle).

I am sure John will bring a wind for the basic tradition of ragchewing into FOC. It is difficult to know how much every one enjoys ragchewing. No award nor contest for ragchewers. But I am sure there has been a basso continuo of love for ragchewing as the tradition in the club. Let's talk much more of musics in the upcoming QSOs from now on, John. Have a nice business voyage. Best season's greetings to you and yours. See you again soon.

A War Drum

Bob W6CYX has metaphored the OTH radar for a war drum. That radar is believed to come from the south eastern part of China. It covers almost all of CW portion on 40m all day long. A source says it is a harmonic of 1.8MHz. Anyway, very noisy. It makes me give up operating radio in the evening. It could have been very quiet on 40m. I could have enjoyed nice QSOs with all over the world in our evening hours. I surely miss the good path to the western Eu at this time in a year.

Bob's comparison of it to a forerunner of a war is quite correct. Very meaningful. When there is more strain in the eastern Asia, they would run more radar. It might be related with the increased tension by chinese new ADIZ at present. We could do little for this problem. A friend of mine in the US has sent a claim on this OTH to a Chinese consulate there. I have enjoyed his idea and have approved him for that at that time. But I don't think the fanatic military would stop the radar owing to such complaints.

Why on the amateur band? No one knows that. It could be a military demonstration to hams in the world. I don't understand why the  military officials in China realize such a demonstration of their power makes much antipathy among hams. Is the radar effective against stealth planes? Isn't is a technology in the last century?

Drew VK3XU used to collect reception information for this radar on the amaeur bands from various parts of the world. From what direction and how strong etc? He told me he and the group would report on it to IARU. This invasion to the ham bands is illegal if it is from China, one of the IARU members. I believe all we could do is working on through such an international organization as IARU.

I hope this drum would be calmed down very soon.


A closing radio parts mall in Akihabara

I have heard a radio parts mall in Akihabara, a downtown famous for electrical items, would be closeed tomorrow. I wanted to go there before it was closed. I left for Tokyo late this morning.
The radio parts mall, under the reailroad, is composed of three divisions. I knew only one of them would be closed. The photo shows the entire mall on the opposite side of the street over the pedistrian crossing. The history says it was constructed 64 years ago. One of the three divisions named the Radio Store was closed.
The mall was not very crowded. Several people were taking photo of the closing mall. Along a narrow passage, where just a couple of people could go through, there were small shops located on each side. Each shop was about 2m wide and 1.5m deep in size. There were always one or two personnel in the back of a shop as this photo shows. Every shop had its speciality. This shop seemed to sell mainly tiny parts of resistor or capacitor etc. Since my teenage days, this outlook has not been changed at all. Most of the items sold there have been changed. I used to attend there once a month grasping small amount of money in a hand. What thrill I have felt looking around for the parts I needed those days!
There were some foreign people enjoying shopping there. It was the same as in old days. All I have bought were a coil of solder, a soldering iron and a microphone for FT2000. The mic replaced an old one with a trouble and is used for PTT on CW! I should say I got a new stand by switch in stead.  
It was a fine beautiful day. I have walked from Akihabara up to Ueno. Since my mother school was near there, I used to walk this street in my student days. Gingko trees along the street looked beautifully shining.
It is a lake in Ueno, named Shinobazunoike, located the western side of Ueno Park. It was at a restaurant close to this lake, where a reception for my elmer, Ralph, WB6BFR, and his wife was held in late '60s.  I and my wife have walked around there as well. A lot of memories. It took me an hour to walk there. I was happy my feet did not complain of such a long walk yet.

I was pleased to know all the mall won't disappear. It seems, however, such shops won't go on for too long time since there would be less necessity for such radio parts and the internet shopping might replace it. Anyway, I wish them good luck in their business. It is still a place of my fond memory.


The State Secret Protection bill against The Tshwane Principles

I am rading The Tshwane Principles published at a meeting in S Afr in June this year. It was drafted by 22 organizations and academic centers in consultation with more than 500 experts from more than 70 countries.  The theme is regarding national security and the right to information. It warns that the authority could withold informations from the public for its own interests.

Our government is going to enact the state secret protection bill at present. It is clearly against the above mentioned Principles with respect to the following points;

1)The bill won't specify what would be the secrets to be protected. The head of the administrative organs could designate them without letting the public know of even the existence of designation.

2)The range of secrets is too diverse covering all aspects of the lives of the public. It could influence on us in serious manner. There is not any law effective to publish informations in the administrative organs yet.

3)The government says they will make effort to establish an oversight center independent of the administrative authorities. But it is just an empty promise. The entire course of enacting this bill means they won't place any such center which would tie their freedom in enforcement of this law.

4)The secrets the heads of the administrative organs designate won't be published in the future if the authority wishes. The secrets won't be critisized by the history. It would make a moral hazard of the administrative authorities.

I am sure this law could determine what shape of the country Japan would take in the future. It is as important as our constitution. The present government, which had been established with approval to the LDPJ by only 20% of votes in the election last year doesn't have the right to enact such a law. 

It is a great disappointment the public is almost indifferent to this problem. They seem to be occupied with the apparent picking up buisiness situation, which has been resulted only from the accidental drop of our currency. In addition to it, the public was given the freedom in life without any efforts. That may be the reason why they could be indifferent to it.


"Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz"

This is the last song in "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" by Mahler. Mahler has composed not only the music but also the words. The theme is a heartrending lost love, which he has experienced by himself.
I used to play this music as a member of orchestra twice. Firstly, at the med school orchestra. It was a very tough music for a beginner cellist due to the changing tonality as well as the swinging rhythm. The next chance came to me when I came back with cello in my early fifties. I have enjoyed the music as well as the words very much.
This last music was especially impressive to me. It seems Mahler has compromised with his fortune in this music. In the middle portion, the music sounds bright and warm in major tonality. Basically, however, it is a funeral march. In the very end, there sounds a deeply dark and pessimistic chord. The basic motif slowed down as if the travellor had breathed the last.
Dieskau in his young days sings dramatically in this recording. One of the best performances for this music.  

Comparison of the Status Agreements in different countries.

Since I have questioned about the fairness in the Japan US Status Agreement, a friend of mine in the US asked me to compare it with the same kind of the agreement of the US with the other countries. I understood he meant the agreement of the military status of the US with the other countries. So far as I know, here are the comparisons.

In Germany, which is also one of the defeated nations in WWII, the flights of the US military aircrafts are under the control of the German domestic law, which determines the areas being prohibitted the low altitude flights. In Japan, the flights of the US military aircrafts are out of the control of the domestic law. They could fly at any altitude in any place whatever dangerous it might be.  There have been sue cases against such flights at many places in Japan. The court decision has been for the plaintiff of the people suffering the hazard and strain from the flights. But our courts deny to judge if the presence of the US military is against the huma rights defined by our constitution. Those cases always end with payment of some money to the plaintiff by our government.

In Italy, another defeated nation, the US military stationed there should get permission from the Italian government and/or Italian military when the US military makes any military training operation. The US military is supposed to inform about their operation prior to its execution. The low altitude flights are actually prohibitted. The US military flights in Japan, as described in the previous paragraph, are not regulated by our domestic law. According to the Japan US Status Agreement, the US military aircrafts could fly and execute any training operations as the inter-base flights anywhere in Japan.

In Korea, the regional government has the right to investigate on the pollution by some toxic substances to the land/property of the US military base . In case that any pollution was found, the US military is responsible for the decontamination. In Japan, the regional government is not capable of investigation the possible pollution. Even in case that pollution becomes evident, the US military won't be responsible for the normalization. In Korea, the government knows how many personnel of the US military are located in the country. It has not been grasped by our government. The US military personel are free at entering and exiting our country. No immigration nor emmigration for them in Japan.

In Iraq, the US military has already withdrawn from the country. The Iraq US Status Agreement says
1)The date of the withdrawal of the US military was definitely determined.
2)Though the escape clause for crime is almost the same as with our agreement, Iraqi authority had the right to sue any private company from the US.
3)It is prohibitted for the uS military to attack the neighbor countries from the bases in Iraq.
4)Iraqi authority had the right to investigate any cargo etc on ships belonging to the US.
Our system is almost totally opposite to this content of the Iraq US Status Agreement. The Iraqi officials are told to have investigated about the Japan US Status Agreement before they concluded theirs with the US. What an irony!

In Phillipines, after the political change by Aquino, they have founded the new constitution, which realized the withdrawal of the US military from Phillipines. Phillipines has not got any disadvantage in the territorial issues even after the US military withdrawal. Phillipines has concluded a mutual defence treaty with the US and has been in good relationship with the latter.


I believe the US military should withdraw from our country. Afterward, they should conclude another treaty in fairness. I know some of our politicians and bureaucrats are getting profits or advantages from the present suboridanating relationship. We should be aware of that and speak against to the present system. In addition, hopefully, American people pay a bit of attention to this issue and would know what is going on here. I believe it will straighten our relationship for now.

At present, a law to protect from espionage is going to be made in the congress here. I believe it will work to hide things disadvantageous to the authorities here like this problem. It might fix the problem as stated here. The problem must go underground or get hidden with the new law. I hope as many people as possible will be concerned about it.



Anisakis is a parasite which could be found in raw seafood like squid or salmon. I thought its infection or infestation had been a rare event. But, when talking about it with my wife a few days ago, I have heard from her that a lady who used to prepare our dinner told her that she had found that parasite from time to time in raw squid.

This story may mean the case of anisakis infestation is not a rare problem but it could occur around myself. Anisakis could be killed by freezing the food. Chewing when eating certain food is also helpful to kill it. The gastric acid might be also a barrier to have Anisakis reach the gastric wall. But some could reach the gastric wall and infest it causing very bad stomachache. In the case of stomachache by Anisakis, you should undergo an endoscopic procedure and take it away from the stomache.

It is quite problematic that fresh raw seafood could cause this problem more easily. I have had raw seafood for thousands of times without any stomachache. There could be some genetic vulnerability for this infestation. I should study about that. But no one could assure I won't have the problem tomorrow.  So Dennis' comment on the risk of parasite infection is not negligible. And Don's belief Kirin would pasteurize the parasite doesn't seem practical either.

PS:After uploading this article, I found this review abstract. It won't mention about the genetic diversity in host defence against this parasite. There seem to be two pathophysiological causing problems in human being. One is the direct infestation. The other is an anaphylaxis via specific IgE. The immunogenetic factor must be involved in the latter. The severer allergological symptoms should occur only in selected cases determined by the immunogenetic trait.

2012 Aug;44(4):150-6.

Anisakis simplex: current knowledge.


Clinical Allergy and Immunology Unit, Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via Pace, 9, 20122 Milan, Italy. v.pravettoni@policinico.mi.it


Anisakiasis, firstly described in 1960s in the Netherlands, is a fish-borne parasitic disease caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked fish or cephalopods contaminated by third stage (13) larvae of the Anisakidae family, in particular Anisakis simplex (As), A. pegreffii and Pseudoterranova decipiens. Every year, approximately 20,000 cases of anisakiasis were reported worldwide, over 90% are from Japan and most others in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, depending on the habits of fish consuming. Live As larvae can elicit i) a parasitic infection of the digestive tract or, occasionally, other organs, causing erosive and/or haemorrhagic lesions, ascites, perforations until granulomas and masses, if larva is not removed, and ii) allergic reactions, as anaphylaxis, acute/chronic urticaria and angioedema. Like other parasite infestations, As larva induces an immune adaptive response characterised by T-lymphocyte proliferation with polyclonal and monoclonal (responsible for As allergic symptoms) IgE production, eosinophilia and mastocytosis. Several As allergens, many of which thermostable, were described In particular the major allergen Ani s 1 and Ani s 7 could characterized a past or a recent infection. There is a general agreement that an active infection is required to initiate allergic sensitivity to Anisakis. Until now, the only effective treatment for anisakiasis is the endoscopic removal of live larvae and the best protection against anisakiasis is to educate consumers about the dangers of eating raw fish and to recommend avoiding the consumption of raw or inadequately thermally treated marine fish or cephalopods. 


A fancy dinner

It was the special dinner day yesterday. We went to a French restaurant near by. Not so many people there even though it was a week end. We have had a course of French cuisine. Very good. An elegant and delicate outlook. Complicated tastes in a dish. But we won't return there for a while. Too heavy for our stomach!

We have talked of our wedding ceremony 35 years ago. I noticed how much we owed to our parents. It was a ceremony for ourselves but not for the others, we concluded. It took us so many years until we noticed that.

For the remaining years in our lives, we should go on by ourselves. While taking oily foie gras and beef steak there, we stressed how necessary it was for us to take good amount of vegetables.

I wish we would come back here together for the celebration of the wedding anniversary next year.


The Japan US Status Agreement

Recently, I have noticed since I started working in the garden almost every day that there were many helicopters and cargo airplanes were flying over in this area. Almost no interval between those flights in the daytime. They are not at the low altitude, so that they won' t be so noisy as that disturbing our lives. But I wondered where they came from and went to. I haven't reached any conclusion about that yet. It seemed not a private planes or helicopters, but, most likelily, those belonging to the Air Self Defence Force, ADSF, or the US Military. There are still a couple of air force bases 20 or 30 miles away in the both directions they have flown to and from. 

From a book regarding the Japan US Status Agreement based on the Japan US Security Treaty, I have learned that there are 7 training routes of the US Military airplanes or helicopters. They extend
all over our country except for the big city areas. It seemed a route in Tohoku area could be involved those flights in this area. The Status Agreement says that the US Military aireplanes or helicopters could fly anywhere in Japan as the inter-base flights. In the training route, they are told to fly as low as 200 ft even in the residential areas like in Okinawa.  It is against our domestic law which prohibits flight below 500 ft anywhere. Of course, so is it in the US. The flights of US Military are out of the control by the law of either country.

A number of the Ospreys, the cargo hellicopter famous for a number of serious accidents and called as the widow maker, have been stationed in Japan. According to the Status Agreement, they must be in the training on those routes above mentioned. I have heard, with the citizens' protests, the flights of this hellicopter were given up or postponed in such as New Mexico or Hawaii. On the other hand, despite of a powerful protests against its flights in Okinawa, those hellicopters are still stationed and are in the training. The people are living just next to the air force bases. They also have experienced a crash accident at a university several years ago.  Okinawa has 74% of the US Military bases in Japan despite of its small size of land, 0.6% of the whole land in Japan. It would be too late if we are aware of the risk the flight gives to them at ceratin crash accident in the future. Something is wrong.

The Japan US Status Agreement and its related secret agreement have a number of rules one sided to the US Military. For examle, in addition to the above mentioned free flight by the US Military anywhere in Japan, any suspect of a crime are supposed not to be accused so far as the crime is not serious. Even serious crime cases are accused at lower rate than that committed by  japanese suspects. The suspects of the US Military and of the service personnel/families are not arrested by our police until they are accused. And there are many more examples of the one sided rules. It was a real surprise to me. Even compared with the US Status Agreements with the other countries like Korea, germany, Italy or Iraq, this Agreement is too one sided in a variety of fields. Not fair.
A friend of mine, a US citizen, told me in an SNS that the US military has been working for the security of Japan for years. Yes, it is a right insight. But the Japan US Security law says we, Japanese, should do with any friction with the other country by ourselves for the first place.  It is a common sense in the international society. We won't claim the US Military should do more than this. It has been almost 70 years since the end of the war and 61 years since the San Francisco Peace Treaty was concluded. Those unfair rules may not be related with the aim of the security treaty now. 

Of course, it is not due to the indifference of the US Military but also to the unwillingness or indifference of our politicians and the officials, especially, in the Minstry of Foreign Affairs. They should negotiate and reform the Status Agreement as that suitable for a independent nation. It seems there are, in this Agreement, a culture to regard the relationship to a certain country more important than the right of the people, or, I suspect, rather something profitable to them. The relationship with the US is distorted and giving rise to much defect in our society.   

The relationship with the US still remains one of the most important ones in the world for Japan. Personally, I have so many good friends in the US. I felt, however, it is the time for us to straighten our relationship at present. Hopefully, my friends will be interested in this issue.


The 35th wedding anniversary

It is our 35th wedding anniversary today.

We were class mates at a med shcool and got married on this day in a year 35 years ago. Serving residency at the same hospital, having children, building own home here and my retirement. Surely, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. I feel I have owed much to my wife. It is the time for me to support her. I am feeling thankful to be blessed with such a chance to live closer each other again. May our health be blessed for a while.

We are going to have a fancy dinner tomorrow.

My wife before use 35 years ago. It was in a short honey moon in Izu peninsula.


An improper fight of TSS against JARL

TSS seems to fight against JARL. TSS is a private company which the ministry of telecom in Japan has commissioned the right to guarantee the ham radio gear to each licensee. The guarantee process is done just on document basis. Their paper work guarantees each equipment as legitimate. I have described about this guarantee sysytem here.

Well, what fight is going on? JARL has paid half a million USD equivalent to TSS for the cost of maintaining the membership redord system. Since JARL has been in financial difficulties for the past 2 decades or even longer, the new committee of JARL has decided to end the contract with TSS. Twenty % of our annual fee has been spent for the maintenance of the membership record by TSS. They announced cancelling the contract to TSS one year prior to the date according to the contract provided. But TSS has not easily agreed with that cancellation. TSS insisited to continue the relationship or that JARL should pay 1.2 million USD for the data base. TSS dared to have the web site of JARL frozen and to have made the data base inaccessible by anyone.

No definite action from JARL has not been published yet. But this seems a case that TSS shoud be sued for their behaviour against the contract and for the compensation for the loss JARL has suffered from.

TSS is rumored to have been in close relationship with the former president of JARL. This company is also suspected to have some retired people from the related administrative agencies as its personnel. What a corruption and disgrace if they are true! 

TSS is not appropriate for outsourcing the paper work of "guranteeing" ham radio gear. Moreover, the guarantee process is not necessary for ham radio. The licensing system should be comprehensive, that is, permitting all bands/modes/power to a certain class of licensee. This guarantee system should be totally deregulated at once.

The Watarase Valley and the Kasuo Pass

I went for a drive to a mountain area. It is named The Watarase Valley, which runs north to south between the northern area of Gunma and the north western part of Tochigi Prefecture. The Watarase River runs on the bottom of the valley. There is a famous railway named The Watarase Vally Railway running along the river.
A news told that the foliage getting colorful in the valley. It has brought me to this area. As it is often told, it attracts me a lot that those colorful leaves are shining in the last moment of their lives. Not only the beauty but the fact they complete their lives in this way could not help fascinating me. It was a lonely drive again but I believed there was W6CYX, Bob Warmke, on the side seat. He has always given me generous comments on my travel stories in the blog or in face book. When I complained of my solitude during drives, he kindly told me he was always with me on the side seat. 
Before leaving home, a snap shot for our garden. A few trees such as a kind of azalea or a kind of maple had leaves turned colorful.. Not very brilliant but still shining its last lives in the sunray.
There was an artificial lake on the way. It was born by a dam keeping back the water of the river. There was a souvenir shop and a restaurant beside this lake. I took late lunch there. I won't recommend you to have any meal at the restaurant  if you should have a chance to visit there. Even the souvenir items were a kind of cheating. Bob may shout to me loudly that there shold be competition in the market, or the businesses would get lousy and inefficient. Reluctantly, I am for his saying in this situation.
Further north of the dam lake, there was a town, Ashio, famous for the cupper mining which continued its operation until immediately after WWII. The industry has polluted the river with cupper containing toxic compounds. It has caused intoxication of farming products downstream in the farming area. It was in the era of Meiji.
A politician, named Shozo Tanaka, has fought against the nation and the mining company to get rid of the pollution and even appealed directly to the Emperor. It was a tough movement which no other politicians than Tanaka participated. By the government in those days, a village downstream was forced to  be turned to a big reservoir downstream. It meant the village had to disappear. Tanaka has lived in that village until the end of his life resisting that political action. He has dedicated himself and all of his own fortune to this movement. They say all he had at the end of his life was a new testament and a constitution book. All his fortune was donated to the movement resisiting the government and the company. Even though his action has not pulled off, his words and life have been regarded a pioneer in the anti environental pollution. It was a firm base for the same kind of social movements against environmental pollution in the following age.
Ashio town was quiet. Seemingly no industry. A few old ladies were slowly walking along the street. No much traffic. The railway station building was a tiny wooden one without any personnel there. The old building reminded me of those in '60s. It had the wall made of darkened woods with the tile-roof. No passengers were in there. I forgot taking a photo. There must be some tourists coming to this station on holidays.  
Off the trunk road, I came up on s small road at an skirt of a mountain in Ashio. In the left side on this photo, there was a river where this road was running along. Maples were still beautifully shining in yellow reflecting the sunray. I have met only very few people walking there. Almost no traffic.
The trunk road would lead me to Nikko, anther famous national park, in 30 minutes or so. I decided, however, to go over a ridge toward east, the way to my home. This pass, named Kashio Tohge, was only 4000 feet high. But, since the both sides were quite low in altitude, the slope was pretty steep. The road was winding so much that I felt almost a bit nauseous on the way. Some twenty five years ago, I have taken my wife and our 2nd son up here. There was a ranch on the ridge, where a couple of my ham friends, JH1TVZ and JH1HDX, used to operate a contest there over a night. We have visited them. They served us cooked food there, a little bit less salty than ideal. JH1TVZ was really serious at contesting while Mamo JH1HDX was just playing with it. We have become good friends since those days. Unfortunately, Mamo has died from leukemia a few years ago. Remembering of him, I stayed at a peak for a while. I could see the other ridge of mountains through colorful leaves and half naked trees. 
On the way heading back home, there was a river along the road. Another fall scenery there. There were very few people around there. Very quiet. It was quite near to the plain area. My wife used to work at a big hospital several miles east of this place. Don't imagine auch a quiet place as this around that hospital. It was surely in a messy downtown there. I was happy to see that this countryside had been preserved as it used to be a couple f decades ago.
A fine gingko tree along the river. Very beautiful. The leaves were really burning in golden yellow. Isn't is wonderful to have ourselves burning quietly as well as brightly like this tree in our last days of life? Trees are destined to live in a given place. They won't have any free will like human beings. Really, it is not their last days. The tree itself might survive and ressurect next spring. The leaves are still finishing their lives. Can I go on living my last years of life like this gingko tree?
On the way back home, there was the med school hospital I was working some 30 years ago. The roads were renewed and the surrounding was greatly changed. I was almost lost even with the navigation device on the car. Smiling bitterly, I ran around and finally found the right route back home.


Crysanthemum in full bloom

Chrysanthemum, called as Kiku in Japan, is fully blooming. There are a few clusters of this flower in the garden. My father used to grow them years ago. Maybe 20 or even 30 years ago. It is a gift from my father. I wondered what I could leave for our children. Fortune if there is any? No, it is of no use for them to live. Any thing more than that? I was asking myself about this when I watched those beautiful flowers.

Prefer writing a mail in calmness to blurting in high speed

Round table QSOs with QRQ/QSK are kind of fascinating to us in a sense. Just like yakking around a table on this mode, they enjoy free conversation. I fully understand what they would like to do. In my biginner days, I yearned for such QSOs made by Ed, K6NB, Trevor, VK2NS and their group on 40m every evening here in our time. Steve or Jack, WA7HJV, are yakking around a morning coffee table on 40m lately. I just listen them for a min or two and then leave there.

For the past years, my view has changed greatly regarding this problem of operation style. In my view, CW communication is comparable to writing/reading a letter. In the previous post, I have quoted some articles of neuroscience which revealed that the brain areas responsible for reading and writing are activated when the examinees are trained for CW. I believe CW communication gives us, or at least, to me, the same pleasure as writing and reading text. Expressing watching the others' QSO as "reading a mail" is really hitting the mark. It is of no much meaning for me to pursue faster QSOs.  But, whatever we may talk about in CW conversation, it is better for us to consider for a while what and how to tell about our idea or feeling to the other on this mode. Then we do send them with a keyer or any key. Then it will be our turn to listen to what the other thinks or feels. This way of conversation may take more time than QRQ/QSK style but give us, in my view, a calm and deeper pleasure.  

Actually, my gear is not working smoothly with full QSK. And I am not good at witty conversation in a round table QSO. There are some practical issues or barriers for me to join such a QSO. But, even with these issues solved, I won't join such a QSO on regular basis. The reason is what I wrote in the previous paragraph. I would pursue something meaningful in CW conversation. It may be a QSO which leaves me a calm pleasure. It is not an issue of better choice but just a problem of liking.

We may take a cell phone if we would like to yak with friends.


A gamble

Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) announced they would start transferring the nuclear fuel, used and unused, from the cooling pool on the 5th story of the 4th reactor building to the new pool on the ground.

The 4th reactor building has been destroyed by the hydrogen explosion at the accident and could be easily fallen down by further earthquake or another natural disaster. The pool contains over 1500 nucelar fuels, mostly used ones which could be highly radioactive and could harm people once they get out of the water. The other reactors also have a cooling pool, respectively, which still contains hundreds of nuclear fuels. Those pools are not easily accessible due to the high radioactivity. These are the reasons why they are starting the process of transfer at the 4the reactor.

A new crane was built at the 4th reactor building. It will take out each fuel into a cask weighing 100 tons. There could be debris or the other materials in the pool. Some fuels could be destroyed by them as well. It is not so easy for them to do this process due to those uncertain factors.

The pulled out fuels would be transferred from the 5th floor to the ground by the crane. The height is 30m. They insist that the doubled wires would safely hang down casks. But what safety coefficient have they taken for the crane against jolting due to such as a strong earthquake? Is it safe enough? They stated that they had done a drop test of the cask. But the height in the test is only 17m. Why not 30m? These informations mean they have hastened to transfer the fuels there.

The head at the nuclear power plant told they would escape from the nuclear plant as soon as a cask is destroyed falling down on the ground in this process. In such a situation, no wonder, they should inevitably run away there. But it means the nuclear plant is abandoned at that time. It is estimated more than ten times of the radioactive substances in Chernobyl would be spread into the surroundings. Then, they forecast, the contamination would make it impossible to reside in the Eastern Japan including Tokyo. It means the country won't exist as it has been at that time.

Yes, it is a unavoidable gamble. The government is eager to establish a NSC like organization in japan. But our security is jeopardized in this way from the inner aspect of the country, not from foreign countries. The government seems indifferent to the real crisis.

Cabbage roll

My favorite. The longer they be cooked, the more tasty they would become. Two of us have had 8 of cabbage roll in 3 days!

Is it a smart way of operation?

When someone calls me, he/she often gives me only his/her call. DE , K or even my call is omitted. It makes me puzzled from time to time. With a filter of 400Hz on as always, their frequency could be a bit off from mine. There could be a delay in timing they start calling me. In both situation, I am not sure if I am called by him/her. When they are not loud enough, it is even more perplexing to me.

Omitting such as DE, K or my call in calling me could spare time for him/her. I could hardly believe so. If I could not be sure I was called, we should spend some long time to confirm that. Or do they believe that omitting that way is a kind of smart and modern operation? They should be disciplined to send message in most understandable way in communication of this mode.

Sometimes, I am inclined not to respond to them at all. Could I cope with such callers in that way?

Giving my call and DE, K etc when calling me is an orthodoxical method. There are reasons for that. It enables me to recognize you calling me easily. Your signal might not be so loud as you hear me. Or your rig is offsetting the grequency from me a bit.

In addition, I hope them not to end their message in transmission with BK without any identification. They do that all of sudden. I am sometimes frightened listening them in relaxation with my feet on the operaating table. In such a case, I should rush sitting back on my chair with back straight again. Apart from that my move in the shack, I should get ready for next transmission abruptly. This kind of operator always starts with the above mentioned style. To those BK senders, I would finish the QSO as soon as possible.

Sending identifications in the beginning and ending of transmission is necessary for the audience to recognize you and me and for me to get ready for my turn.

There is time enough.


It was an earthquake that made my amp out of work.

The amp won't be turned on. After it has worked trouble free for almost 15 years, was it finally acting up? ......I should bring this heavy box for repair to a dealer....sighing.....To make it sure, I have looked at its power line code beneath the table.

The plug was out of the socket! There was a plaque for the JIDXC lying next to the plug on the floor. It had been hung on the wall. Some time ago, this afternoon, we have had a pretty big earthquake of Richter scale 4 here. It has made the plaque fallen, which hit the plug to be pulled out. No other things fallen on the floor.

Inserting the plug into the socket, I found the amp working OK. And, recalling there have been a couple of contests going on now, one in Eu and the other in USA, I smiled bitterly to myself. I won't need turnig on the gear today. The high bands were full of contesters with very strong signal. Looking at the plaque on the wall, I told myself it was a way of enjoyment for them. Nothing to be blamed.

We have had much more earthquakes for the past years. They forecast there could be another big one hitting western Japan or Tokyo. It could be a real big disaster for us again. It is not a matter of fallen plaque or something like that. Hundreds thousand people are expected to be killed by the quake as well as the accompanying tsunami. Are we ready for that? I don't believe we have any room in badget to spend for the Olympic games in 2020.

Squid with Japanese radish

Squid is boiled with soy sauce, sake and so forth. It should be for not longer than 5 or 6 min. Or squid could become firm. In the same seasoning, Japanese radish with a bit of ginger is cooked for some 10 min. Then, both of materials are mixed on a dish. Very simple. We love it very much.
I could hear some friends in foreign countries claim they won't try such as squid. They won't know one of the good things in the world throughout their lives. Sorry for that.


Punishment won't solve the problem

I stayed up very late last night. I was watching a video clip which showed discussions at a committee in the congress held in the daytime yesterday. The Ministry of  Justice would enact a law to punish severer to those who give rise to traffic accidents. The authority told they would take the symptoms as the important thing, but not the diagnoses themselves. But it is related with the punishment by criminal law, so that the factors composing the crime should be clearly defined, that is, they would regard each illness as the factor.

A couple of witnesses, who represent certain academic societies related with this matter, have told clearly against the authority in this way.

There is no evidence that those with epilepsy or psychiatric illnesses cause more traffic accidents than the other normal population. Nevertheless, millions of people will be badly affected by this law.

The article that defines those with illnesses being excluded from application of this law actually requires that a ceratin driver is illness free. It contradicts itself.

There are already prejudice worsened against those with the illnesses in the society. It is clearly related with the move toward this law. If the psychiatric illnesses should be related with any traffic accident, the relationship is the same as that in the other kinds of illnesses.

It seems that the authority has hastened to enact this law by "the public opinion" . There have been a few serious traffic accident cases reported by the mass media. They attracted public attention because they had been caused by alcoholics or an epilepsy patient without medication. They should have listened to what the professional doctors would comment on that before they proposed the draft.

They should withdraw the draft and go on discussing how to prevent such accidents. Punishment won't solve the problem.


A drive up to the mountains

I have made a drive to a high land marsh north west of here. It is named Senjyogahara, which means a battole field in japanese. An old legend tells there have been battles among the gods in the mountains over there. It seems what the name came from. It belongs to a national park.
I used to drive up there a few times in the past. Years ago when I was driving to my office, I often looked up there and, leaving all the duties behind, I would go for driving over there. Of course, it has never come true. It was the chance for me to do that now. It was not, however, so exciting as I had imagined since I quit my work for now. The more duties I had those days, the more fascinated I felt by the scenery in the mountain. That may be the truth.
I used to come this area once a month for work. I stayed at a hospital for all day from Sunnday morning to Monday morning. My duty was to care for all the outpatients as well as the inpatients. It could be a real burden to a young pediatrician. But I didn't feel that way those days. The hospital was still there on the way to the mountain area. It used to be a private hospital and has become a municipal one for now. Early in Monday morning, I used to buy some bread at a store on the opposite side of the street and rushed to the dorm house in a med school where my wife and our elder son were waiting for me. The bakery was already closed there.
Travelling in woods this time in a year is called as "hunting for the colorful foliage" here in Japan. The fall has been deepened there. The colorful leaves have welcome me. Some of them have already fallen on the ground. I went up steep slopes to a lake near to the marsh.
There is a big lake named Chuzenjiko at almost 3000ft of altitude. It was quiet on the lake even though the traffic was still terrible around it. There were a number of souvenir shops at a shore. Being off kinda season right now, some of them were closed. In summer, there should be many people enjoying boating on this lake.
A famous hotel restaurant along the beach. I gave up taking lunch there since it was full of people. The bakery I used to buy bread on the way home from the work at the hospital belonged to the same hotel.
Finally, I arrived at Senjyogahara. It is a marsh born by the activity of a volcano stopping flow of a river. It is about 3500 ft in altitude and has 400 ha of land in it. It was covered by dead plants of low height. Again, very quiet. It was late fall there. But the breeze over the marsh was a bit warm.
There were a number of trees standing in the marsh. The marsh was surrounded by high mountains. A river was running in the center, which ended as a big fall on the south eastern corner of the marsh.
White birch trees were beautiful there. There were clusters of the other kind of trees as well. There were groups of pupils taking lunch under them. A peaceful scenery.

Having gone up a mountain on a winding road, I got through to village on the opposite side of the ridge. There were much less tourists. It was much more favorable. I forgot taking photos. When I asked a girl at a souvenir shop if it was always so quiet without many tourists, she answered there would be more people when it got late fall. Uttering that it has been already late enough, I bought some apples there for a souvenir to my wife. I would bring her there next time.


An outerrise type earthquake

Very early in the morning of Oct 26th, a rather big earth quake has occurred in the Pacific ocean off Fukushima. The magnitude was 7.1. The quake has waken me up with the Richter scale rated 4 here. I could not fall asleep for a while even after a long lasting quake, reminding me of the big earthquake, had gone. An alarm for tsunami was published by an authority then. It seemed there had been a small tsunami observed near to the center of the earthquake.

The news told it had been caused by a mechanism of the outerrise. The ocean plate was freed from the friction with the continental plate by the big earthquake 2 years ago, so that the former could be lacerated pretty easily with the force pulling it under the continental plate. It is not negligible that a big earthquake of this type would occur in the near future.

The problem with this type of eathquake is that it could cause tsunami. The Pacific ocean off Fukushima is believed to be a center of such an earthquake. If a big tsunami would hit the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima, there could be a further serious damage on it. The main concern is on the used fuels pooled at the 4th reactor. It still has a enormous amount of used/not used fuels. The pool is high in the damaged building. It could be very vulnerable to such a tsunami or an earthquake.

At present, they are struggling with the contaminated water and the influx of underground water into the reactors. They have not taken any measure against further tsunami to the damaged structures and/or the cooling system. If any big tsunami destroys them, the contamination of radioactivity would spreads all over Kanto plain including the metropolis of Tokyo. It is a matter of possibility. No one knows if it could happen or not. But the government should prepare for such a disaster.  They should have learned that almost impossible thing could become possible from the disaster 2 years ago.


A ray of hope for ALS patients

Amyotrophic laterel sclerosis(ALS) is one of the most miserable disease. With the degeneration of the lower motor neuron, the patient with this illness should undergo gradual loss of motor functions while the peception and intellectual functions are preserved. The patient, fully alert and conscious, should go on dying for a few years.
In my med student days, the cause as well as the treatment were totally unknown. Only symptomatic treatments have been given to the patients. But the recent development in gene analysis revealed the ADAR2 is the defect in this illness. This paper shows they could convey ADAR2 to the neural tissue with a vector AAV9. 
It should be confirmed thaty this vector is not harmful to the body. Once it is confirmed safe, this research result could be a real epoch making. Really amazing.
I hope this will give the patients a real hope for cure very soon.
I am thrilled and pleased to see the medical science is developing in this way. The human beings should spend time, money and their intelligence in such a field, but not in developing weapons etc.
2013 Sep 24. doi: 10.1002/emmm.201302935. [Epub ahead of print]

Rescue of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotype in a mouse model by intravenous AAV9-ADAR2 delivery to motor neurons.


CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan; Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease, and the lack of effective therapy results in inevitable death within a few years of onset. Failure of GluA2 RNA editing resulting from downregulation of the RNA-editing enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2) occurs in the majority of ALS cases and causes the death of motor neurons via a Ca2+ -permeable AMPA receptor-mediated mechanism. Here, we explored the possibility of gene therapy for ALS by upregulating ADAR2 in mouse motor neurons using an adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) vector that provides gene delivery to a wide array of central neurons after peripheral administration. A single intravenous injection of AAV9-ADAR2 in conditional ADAR2 knockout mice (AR2), which comprise a mechanistic mouse model of sporadic ALS, caused expression of exogenous ADAR2 in the central neurons and effectively prevented progressive motor dysfunction. Notably, AAV9-ADAR2 rescued the motor neurons of AR2 mice from death by normalizing TDP-43 expression. This AAV9-mediated ADAR2 gene delivery may therefore enable the development of a gene therapy for ALS.
© 2013 The Authors. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd on behalf of EMBO


A nest to come back

They say the higher bands are quite hot with the sun spot number rising record high in this cycle. I still love, however, 40m in our evening. This band will gradually open to the North America before sunset here. It might open to Eu and Africa through long path at the same time. I started radio on this band at this time in a day. It was the band of wonder those days. At present, it is still the band where I could nestle myself on.

This evening, 40m sounded very quiet. I had a couple of pleasant QSOs. One was with Steve K4VK in Florida. His barefoot with a dipole was not loud at all but was still quite readable on the quiet background. He is 93 years old and used to be in Yokosuka in 1950 when he served for the Navy there. We could not converse much about his good old days so much. But I still felt, through his keying!, he had had a good memory in Yokosuka those days. He sounded excited at the key. The keying itself often expresses what the sender feels. Those who won't operate CW would never appreciate that at all, I guess.

The other guy was Don N7EF in Washington. He always watchs the band and gives me a call when no one calls me for my CQ. He said he had been just watching great ragchews going on the band. He kindly asked me about my cataract problem, which he had known through watching my QSO with another guy. He said his wife had had a surgery for her cataract, which came out to be a success. Even though, as he said, the ophthalmologist was pretty old just before retirement, he did it perfectly for her. I answered to him, with hearty thanks for his concern about my problem, that medical services should be conservative. Progressive methods could be sometimes experimental. I would have a surgery in a conservative way within a year or so. He also mentioned that the drivers' licence renewal is pretty strict especially for the seniors over there. He was nervous at it but could renew it uneventfully. I always enjoy talking to him since he is always a real critic to the ham radio or people on the radio.

I have been blessed with many friends on 40m in this way. Unfortunately, most of them have gone inactive or silent keyed by now. But, I know, there are still a number of old guys with whom I could share the same kind of interest or of concern. Even though I sometimes feel disappointed at it, I would go on operating radio. Yes, on 40m around our sunset. It is my nest to come back.

A national secrecy protection law

A national secrecy protection law is going to be legislated by our congress very soon. Even though the lawyers association as well as the mass media have protested against it very hard, the present government would do that by any means.

They say it is to protect our nation's interest by protecting the informations relevant with the national security. But there are a number of serious problems in this draft.

1)The law could cover all aspects of the administrative offices and their behaviours if the head of each office determines any information on them as a secret. No limit.

2)They don't need to publish the protected informations in certain span of time. They could cover up any informations unfavorable to them "forever". This rule may bring rise to moral hazard to the administrative officials including the cabinet.

It is definitely against our right to know and check what is going on in the administration of the nation. I am strongly against this law.